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Grateful Dead Live at Monterey Fairgrounds on 1967-06-18

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Grateful Dead Live at Monterey Fairgrounds on 1967-06-18

Topics Live concert

Cold Rain And Snow, Viola Lee Blues
Alligator > Caution (Do Not Stop on Tracks)

Note: Deadlists indicates that Alligator/Caution may NOT be from this date. See that discusion for additional details.

Collection GratefulDead
Band/Artist Grateful Dead
Venue Monterey Fairgrounds
Location Monterey, CA

Source Soundboard
Lineage SBD > MR > ? > DAT x 2 > Sonic Solutions > CD > SHN
Taped by
Transferred by Mandrake


There seems to be no cassette generation between the MR and DAT, which is present on the previously circulated version of this show. Remastered by "Mandrake"


Reviewer: jimtuht - favoritefavoritefavorite - January 21, 2016
Subject: I was there
do not remember "Alligator/Caution" being played...all the tunes during the set were familiar to me..and this is before "Anthem of the Sun" came out..first saw Alligator played in late November '68 at the Fillmore West (with Quicksilver, who were recording some of their live LP that weekend--definitely "Who Do You Love" the night I was there)..first heard Alligator during the Valenine's Day broadcast from the Carousel on KMPX/KSAN Feb. 14, '68...the thing the Dead did that no other band did at Monterey was getting everyone up dancing...I do remember that for sure...besides them saying it should be a free concert and come on in if you didn't have a ticket (people did climb over into the arena then...)
Reviewer: postersnutbag - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 26, 2013
Subject: Could it be?
Did I just hear a little glimpse into the future? I could of sworn I head a tease of Franklin's Tower eight years before it's time. This show is fire, the Viola jam knocked me on my ass. This recording is a perfect example of the kind of mesmerizing hold the Dead had on their audience. Unfortunately I was born 28 years to late to be there for the magic.
Reviewer: doug_the_dude - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 18, 2013
Subject: --
Pretty famous: hard, outdoor, '67, Monterey...they sound as good as they ever did this year playingwise, especially the locomotion-drive of Alligator...but Pigpen's vocals make a mere ghostly appearance in the deep distance, and, yeah, that harp guy ("playing" right over the verses) really *does* have to go.

Listening to their set against the other acts at Monterey really isn't fair, they're so clearly out of everyone else league jamwise - maybe Ravi Shankar comes closest in terms of this kind of music to stand a chance against the Dead. But some of the other acts from Monterey, in order to give the Dead some context: Moby Grape, the Airplane, Otis, Ravi, the Blues Project, Hendrix.

Overall, this festival represents a really fascinating time in the country. There is still just a hint of innocence about it all here - no brown acid, no Hell's Angels stabbing people, etc.; the fact that the Beach Boys were supposed to headline ("Smile" and all) really tells you where everything was, and where it was heading.
Reviewer: The Only Deadhead in Madrid? - favoritefavoritefavorite - February 6, 2013
Subject: The opposite of what one expects from 1967
Good recording quality, incoherent playing. VLB is good but not outstanding. Cold Rain & Snow ok.
Reviewer: JasW - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 12, 2012
Subject: Somebody's kid?
The harp "player" sounds like a six year old child given a harmonica for the first time. Letting whoever this was play with the Dead at Monterey -- MONTEREY, MAN, with filming and everything -- has got to be the biggest WTF Were You Thinking moments of all time.
Reviewer: clementinescaboose - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 23, 2011
Subject: Awesome, sloppy show
Killer Viola and Caution, but damn if that harmonica guy doesn't piss me off like everyone else.
Reviewer: InfinityOE - favoritefavoritefavorite - November 16, 2011
Subject: The Grateful Dead: Show #171
Monterey Pop Festival. Definitely not a great recording, but a gem for those who appreciate novelty Dead. No doubt the largest, loudest audience they've had thus far. It would make anybody nervous, and - with no offense to the performance - it shows... Especially in the drums and vocals. In my opinion, you can forget Hendrix and The Who... The real show was right here, between the 2. Bill Graham (certainly not the announcer for the festival) can be heard after Caution... Does that mean Alligator>Caution is from a different date?.. Or was he given permission to announce the Grateful Dead?

Viola Lee (questionable) opener... That would've gotten me moving. Perfect way to start things off. "The Beatles Aren't Here" is hilarious... Really shows how popular they were. People trying to tear down walls just at the rumor they were there. To me A>C almost sounds like it took place at an indoor venue. Also can't hear the crowd like I could in the earlier portion. Now the question is which date?.. Don't ask me... I wouldn't know where to start. Great stuff all the same.
Reviewer: deadheadblow - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 10, 2011
Subject: how do I download this set
can someone tell me how to download set...ty
Reviewer: heiser610 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 30, 2011
Subject: Monterey Energy
This is an electrifying performance of each song. Though the Dead may say that they played badly at this show, I have to disagree. Ture they played a short set and they had some technical problems, but overall this is a great performance. How do i download these performaces here on the archive so I can put them on my iTunes?
Reviewer: gratedude69 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 18, 2010
Subject: monterey
real treat here to hear em perform this event, even if the setlist is minimal, good stuff
Reviewer: rschwz28 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 8, 2010
Subject: harmonica mystery
I'll put forth two theories about the mystery harmonica player:

1. A Hell's Angel - who's going to kick a Hell's Angel off the stage?

2. A Prankster - a "senior" one, at that (Kesey? Babbs?)being that he was allowed to get that far.
Reviewer: light into ashes - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 13, 2009
Subject: Amazing Set
THIS is the 6/18/67 copy to listen to. The other copy on the Archive is badly cut.

In many accounts of the Monterey Festival, the Dead just disappear, sandwiched as they were in a thankless slot in-between the Who & Jimi Hendrix....
However, this set is awesome - it's kind of like 5/5/67, so much energy they practically fly off the stage.

There has been a dispute over whether the Alligator>Caution actually comes from this show, since apparently the source is different & Bill Graham speaks after Caution.
But it is from this show. Not only is the general sound & vibe the same, but it has the same rotten harmonica player who was in Cold Rain & Snow! (He's not Pigpen, by the way - Pigpen's mike was dead for the start of Alligator - but he might have been familiar with the songs since he seems to be trying to play in the right spots.)

I think this is the earliest Alligator we have. ("5/5/67" is a misdated show, and "1/27/67" is even more off-date; they're both from later in the year.)
What puzzles me is that the Alligator blazes into Caution.... The next few Alligators all just stop with the vocal reprise, we don't have another Alligator>Caution until 9/15/67. Just a minor Dead mystery....
Reviewer: L. Rosley - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 1, 2008
Subject: Energy, Energy, Energy at the '67 Monterey Pop Festival
I agree, the really bad harmonica is NOT Pigpen. There are portions where you can hear both the bad harmonica and Pigpen on organ or on vocal faintly in the background. There is some brief good harmonica in Caution, which is Pigpen.

I like to drink a lot of coffee and listen to this show, a great performance despite the sound system problems. A high-energy, primordial Alligator made better when Pigpen's mic kicks in, flowing into Caution. This was still new material at this time, the Dead having recently abandoned a lot of the blues standards they were playing in 1966 for these free-form originals. Viola Lee is also good, but go and listen to some of the 1966 versions for some perspective. I like this Cold Rain and Snow, fast and driving, typical for '66/'67. Yes, a little sloppy, but the whole set is not as tight as some other 1967 shows. In this case, the Dead make up for in artistic interpretation.

There's another version of this hear at Archive. It's basically the same, but it includes two interview clips and lacks "the Beatles aren't here."

But who was there at the historic 1967 Monterey Pops Festival! A great performance from Hendrix, who sets his guitar on fire at the end of Wild Thing. And a great performance from the Who, who smash their guitars at the end of My Generation. It's great to have this recording of the Dead's set.
Reviewer: Darrylizer - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 17, 2008
Subject: What a Viola Lee!
Mother Mary and Joseph this is the highest energy Viola Lee Blues I've ever heard and what a response the crowd gives at end! The band fairly flies apart at the seams!! The Dead always said they blew it at Monterey and I'd reluctantly agree to that assessment after listening to the awful out of key harmonica playing during Alligator. Someone should have kicked that joker in the 'nads and tossed him off the stage. And perhaps someone did as the middle and ending sections of Alligator are thankfully harmonica free. It's not Pigpen either unless he can sing and "harmonicize" at the same time. His very well played harmonica is in evidence on Caution. Horrible harmonica aside tho this is some of the highest energy Grateful Dead extant. Jerry and Bill play like wildmen. Pigpen's singing and organ playing on Caution are impassioned and amazing, trading off organ licks with Jerry and singing as tho his life depended on it. You know what, I'm not going to agree with the band that they blew it at Monterey because the good moments far out weigh any bad ones. Worth a listen and it's pretty well recorded to boot.
Reviewer: mcgannahan - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 18, 2007
Subject: fuckheD with harmonica
fuckhead with harmonicA ruins gator, wonder if it was same dude who played flute at the human be in, if your out there, thanx a lot, man.
Reviewer: gruUbic - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 8, 2007
Subject: 40 days 40 nights 40 years
not the uberbest recording -- sure.
but come on!
40 years ago and we STILL have it to listen to...can someone NOT enjoy this??
thank you!

a little fast
and the set list ain't right...
It's REALLY good

as a historian...
as a humanoid...
are you gonna listen to this daily?
probably not.

is it CRISPY?
OH yeah...

summer of luv + 40, mi bruthas in years!
that means at LEAST a 4,
Thank you jerry!

BTW it's:
Rain and Snow (way fast)
'Gator >
God Bless the Greatful Dead!
Reviewer: Young Blood - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 16, 2006
Subject: Ah HA!
Color video of this exists. Pigpen is wearing an indian feather headress and Jerry wigs out at the end of VLB. I highly recommend looking for it.
Reviewer: stuffyhead - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 7, 2006
Subject: Holy s&*%$#@!
They say the Dead blew their shot at fame at Monterey. If my first taste of GD was at this show I would have rocketed out of my seat and my head would have exploded from digging it so much!
Reviewer: cream-puff-war - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 7, 2005
Subject: bad asset by angry young band
This is an upgrade of the Grateful Dead at Monterey Pop (3 day festival), a generation up from the other circulating version.

Includes on-stage announcement "The Beatles Aren't Here" by Peter Tork (Tork also introduced the Buffalo Springfield set)

It has been ascertained that the Alligator and Caution are from this date... see reviews for more info.

There were technical glitches and unharmonic accompaniment at times, but the overall sound quality of this still unreleased historic set epitomizes what a "live" 1967 show
sounds like in sparkling 8-track stereo.
In brief, it ROCKED!
Garcia's guitar playing is out-of-control in this breakneck-paced set, and the overall sound ambience is unlike any other recording of the band.
For what it's worth, this is perhaps the most incredible Viola Lee Blues of the year 1967.
There are contenders, such as March 18 and September 3rd (the legendary Rio Nido VLB jam ends abruptly on LMA, but a more complete version has been added as a bonus on their remastered debut album which is also included with the Golden Roads box set); also, the August 4th '67 version of Viola Lee has a cool vibrato gtr effect compliments of Garcia.
The song was also recorded on Vanguard circa 1967 by Jim Kweskin's Jug Band.
But the Grateful Dead owned it so to speak, often using it as their all-out improvisational show stopper during their '66 through '69 shows (check the 1969-04-21 encore VLB (read Dr. Flashback's review).
VLB invokes the summer of love era GD - an anthem for their '67 tangle with the establishment .

The outtake footage of the Dead playing VLB at Monterey Pop shows them at their peak, giving it all they've got, paying attention... on the reprise after the jam, Jerry holds up his right hand and jumps up, twice for good measure.
Pigpen appears to have been playing it seriously, not at all smash blocked... with a pair of long feathers tucked into his headband.
For another impressive filmed performance of the prime evil Dead (get a load of Pig man!) doing Viola Lee, take a look at them in Petulia (1968 movie).

Cold Rain and Snow is a blast too, in spite of technical difficulties that only last for a few seconds (don't sweat the small stuff!).
No problem with Caution (Do Not Step On the Tracks).
Listen for Bill Graham's outro on the other version.
The other version on LMA also has commentary by Bob Weir (and a rant by that kookie cream puff man).
Reviewer: cardgamermanguy - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 3, 2005
Subject: Good Bad Show
Many things about this show that are good and not so good. Whats good about it is that the quality of the recording is incredible and not what you would expect to hear from a tape from 67. I don't disagree with Cream-Puff-War man, Viola Lee Blues is powerful and funky, but Jerry's guitar is out of tune and the performance is sloppy. Cold Rain and Snow is the same. Alligator is good except, the soundman forgets to turn Pigpen up (if you listen closely, you can hear the lyrics just barely. Caution is good. Pigpen delivers an amazing performance and a powerful one. I give a four, because its acually a really fun recording to listen to.
Reviewer: Kola67 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 7, 2005
Subject: wow
Even though I've listened to many hours of 68/69 music, I'm not as versed in pre-69 Dead as many others who browse these far corners of the archives so I tried to withhold a rating but the archive wouldn't let me.

Having said that I've grown up and continue to be a lover of country Dead among their many styles, and have lived primarily in the early 70's as a result. After discovering the Archive and downloading many of those shows I got a little tired of seeing Sugar Magnolia on the setlist, and rather than gravitating towards 77 and beyond I've ventured to 69 and earlier. I can see how people (especially those who experiened this stuff firsthand) believe these were the best of times as the raw power is unmatched.

So I've found myself creeping further back in time to 67 recently, and came across some funny reviews about how lame the harp playing in Alligator is here, so I tuned in for a laugh as much as anything. I gotta tell you, to less trained ears all I could focus on is how manic the playing is. To hell with the harp, this version to me is 10x better than the early 70 Gators I've listened to, and the way the entire band yells Alligator into the mike at the end of the song is off the charts. The energy is just top notch, as it is in Viola Lee Blues (as usual) and Caution.

So I put my 5 star rating here in print, perhaps to revise it down to a 4 after I've listened to Alligator another 20 times and that harp does start to finally annoy me.

There must be some way to get all the people lost in doling out 5 star ratings to the 80's and 90's shows to come to the 60's now that soundboards are readily available.
Reviewer: phleshy - favoritefavoritefavorite - May 22, 2005
Subject: Good, inconsistent performance.
I have to agree, this is a great Viola Lee. It's short but definitely packed with energy (listen to the meltdown), but the Cold Rain is poor. It starts off well, but the instrumental break (where Jerry and Pig usually play in unison) is an absolute disaster. Was Pig so drunk that he forgot to play his B-3 and decided to play harmonica with his asshole? Whatever it was, it ruins the entire song.

Maybe it wasn't Pig, since on Alligtor, you can hear him singing off-mic (he's almost inaudible) while this same idiot continues his flatulent adventures on the harp, also ruining Alligator. Thankfully somebody removed him from the stage (and hopefully kicked his ass afterward) before he could ruin Caution, cause Pig blows some real good harp on this track.
Reviewer: lpenoza - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 11, 2005
Subject: History
I give this recording 5 stars because it's a historical performance, and this recording has the kind of clean sound (consider that it's nearly 40 years ago) that places the listener right there. You can almost smell the air...
Reviewer: scenesof - favoritefavoritefavorite - April 5, 2005
Subject: goddawful harmonica
i can't believe this show is getting 5 stars...of historical importance, yes...and of good quality also, but the fact that some zonked arse is tunelessly wailing on a harmonica of the wrong key and no one dragged him off stage is kind of hard to ignore...

tragic, really, because these are some blazing jams...also, i'd say unless mr. bojangles was appearing on stage with the Dead frequently during this period, the "mystery" of Alligator at Monterey is solved as he's playing on this track as well as Cold Rain and Snow...

let me know when the beatles get here...
Reviewer: MorninDew - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 26, 2005
Subject: WOW
Woa, man, what a good concert! Jerry is all over that guitar! Viola Lee is such a treat! I wonder how that crowd reacted. Whether they got up and danced or stared in acid-induced fascination. I'd do a little of both if I were there. They were SO on that night man! And the vocals are actually really awesome! Sometimes it sounded kinda bad, but they were REALLY on that night!
Alligator instrumental is a neat little ditty. Caution is rockin. Cold Rain and Snow sounds just fine. Man, they knew they had to live up to the other acts they were playing with and they sure did! The sound quality is PERFECTO! Def. download this nice slice of history while you can!
Reviewer: jbphburg - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 2, 2005
Subject: Great historic music
Monterey Pop Festival, the first big rock festival, and the Grateful Dead turn in what really must be considered way beyond anything else there, save for Jimi obviously. I'm sure this performance must have been very ear opening for those in attendance, and the highlight if you were partaking of the ultra great acid avaialable then and there, truly historic. Jamming simply unheard of then, completely off on it's own thing and so well developed already. Really, it's essential to any comprehensive history of American music.
Reviewer: jbphburg - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 2, 2005
Subject: Great historic music
Monterey Pop Festival, the first big rock festival, and the Grateful Dead turn in what really must be considered way beyond anything else there, save for Jimi obviously. I'm sure this performance must have been very ear opening for those in attendance, and the highlight if you were partaking of the ultra great acid avaialable then and there, truly historic. Jamming simply unheard of then, completely off on it's own thing and so well developed already. Really, it's essential to any comprehensive history of American music.
Reviewer: Dre' 65 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 16, 2004
Subject: Bill Graham & Alligator->Caution mysteries
I've been researching the Monterey Pop Festival for almost 10 years now, trying to compile setlists and recordings of all the performers. If you look on, you'll see a page dedicated to Monterey and all the setlists I've gathered thus far. The mystery of the Grateful Dead setlist for this show has been discussed for years, mainly with regards to Alligator->Caution and whether Bill Graham handled their outro.

I've confirmed that Bill Graham was most definitely handling outro's that evening. The band that played immediately before the Dead was The Who. At the conclusion of My Generation, their last tune, you can hear Bill say, "let's hear it just one more time for The Who". He was also behind the stage that evening speaking with various performers as documented in "Monterey Pop" by Joel Selvin.

I can also confirm that Alligator->Caution was part of their set that evening. Apart from the outro by Bill Graham, the greatest evidence lies in the sound of the recordings of the Festival. It's tough to describe in words, however, if you listen to the recordings of all the performers, there's no doubt. The recordings of the applause after each performer have a very unique cadence (for lack of a better term) that is evident throughout each performance over the three days. This holds true at the end of "Caution" during which Bill Graham's outro states "let's do it just one more time, let's hear it again...the Grateful Dead".

In regards to Alligator being a very primordial version without vocals, the issue was actually an equipment malfunction. This was an ongoing problem with many of the performances throughout the Festival. Jerry and Bobby's backup vocals are evident, but Pigpen's microphone is initially not functioning. A few minutes into Caution, the issue is resolved and Pigpen can be heard.

I can point out other unique similarities to confirm my theory, but the ones I've outlined above are the strongest. Hope this puts to rest once and for all the mystery surrounding their performance. If you have any questions, or comments, I appreciate all feedback.
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